The recent play of Micah Hoffpauir has the Cubs and their fans debating whether Hoffpauir deserves to start everyday. The bad thing is Lee mans first and Hoffpauir's defense in the outfield is below average.
So now the Chicago based radio shows along with Cub fans are debating whether the Cubs should trade the declining older Derrek Lee for the younger, cheaper, less proven Hoffpauir. I first want to say there is no doubt in my mind Derrek Lee is the Cubs Opening Day first baseman and I also think Hoffpauir will be on the ML roster as well. But lets take some looks at some categories that compare each player.
Age- Hoffpauir gets the nod because he is only 29 years old and Lee is 34.
Cost- Derrek Lee will cost the Cubs 26 million over the next two years. Hoffpauir will only cost them about a million.
Power- Hoffpauir provides the Cubs with the power they need from the left side of the plate. Lee has been on the decline for the past 3 years.
Leadership- Derrek Lee is the Cubs captain and a great vocal leader in the clubhouse.
Proven- Lee has proved time and time again he will put up good numbers. While Hoffpauir has only had 73 ABs at the ML level.
Average- Lee will provide the Cubs with a .285 or better hitter. Hoffpauir over the course of the season would not post a good average in my opinion.
OBP- Lee will strive here again. He is such a patient hitter and I see Hoffpauir getting in trouble with swinging wild during the long season.
RBI- It seems that Hoffpauir has a the edge in RBI situations. Lee has hit in too many double plays. I can see Hoffpauir driving in 100+ RBI in a full season.
SB- Lee will still steal some bags for you, Hoffpauir really won't.
Defense- Lee hands down.
Baseball Smarts- I can see Hoffpauir make some bone head mistakes that cost the Cubs some runs and maybe even some games. You will not have that with Lee.
Overall it just makes sense to keep Derrek Lee at 1st unless you know some team is interested in him and/or he will waive his no trade clause. Lee is the leader of this team and a proven baseball player. The Cubs cannot afford to go into the season with a guy that only has had 73 ML ABs over a guy who will play great defense and give you solid consistent numbers at the plate. I pick Derrek Lee.
Feel free to debate this!